Music //

The Top Five Album Fails Of 2016

Drake, Prophets of Rage, and Steve Aoki were some marquee names that weren't too big to fail in 2016.

Patrick Greenby Patrick Green
Photo: Tim Mosenfelder (Getty Images)

“Art cannot be criticized because every mistake is a new creation.” Wise words said by Mr. Brainwash who ironically himself was a pawn/parable used by Banksy to make a biting commentary on the art world.

Also: The Seven Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2016

Regardless of the bearer, the words still ring true as naming the Top Five Album Fails of 2016 is an end of the year exercise done by circumstance not by choice. You may agree or disagree, but no one is saying that a lot of time, hard work and money weren’t put into these albums. Let’s just hope next time they will be used more wisely.

Drake – Views

Drake has taken the throne from the mad king (Kanye West) as the reigning king of hip-hop. Although the Toronto Raptors super fan scored the song of summer with “One Dance” and was nominated for eight Grammy’s, Views feels too gratuitous (and repetitive) even for the self-proclaimed Champagne Papi.

M.I.A – AIM

The Sri Lankan social raptivist has been missing in action since 2013’s Matangi, far longer if you didn’t care for her politically-charged but confusing follow-ups to Kala, which lacked pop-pop-pop hits like “Paper Planes”. AIM was supposed to be less of a comeback, but a re-introduction. Unfortunately, it’s an attempt that goes wide left. Not bad, just boring. The worst thing that can happen to an artist known for reinvention is caricature and much of AIM sounds like someone phoning it in, except on “Freedun” featuring ZAYN, which was apparently written on What’sApp… now that’s groundbreaking. 

Prophets of Rage – The Party’s Over EP

Like athletes, most rockstars don’t age gracefully. For every David Bowie or Tom Brady who go out on top there are the Kobe Bryant’s and Prophets of Rage, who limp to the finish line, aching for relevance, showing glimpses of their former greatness, yet ultimately staining their once-glorious reputations. Chuck D, B-Real and Rage Against the Machine were voices of their generations, but together in the here and now they come off more as an all-star cover band that’s stuck playing their own songs, which sounds like the premise of a dope ass Black Mirror episode.

Corey Feldman – Angelic 2 the Core : Angelic Funkadelic/Angelic Rockadelic

The moonwalking PSA for “mothers against child acting” made a meme of himself on the NBC Today Show, but what most don’t know is that the Lost Boys star actually made a full album. So, yes there is more nonsensical ’90s house/flaccid rock music/Michael Jackson dance moves where that came from.

Steve Aoki – 4Aoki

Sometimes DJs should be heard and not seen (yes, I’m talking to you Chainsmokers), but in the case of Steve Aoki, maybe both should apply. You can’t knock the hustle of the heir to the Benihana fortune, who describes himself as the hardest “working” man in EDM, but the cake-throwing, champagne-spraying king of Vegas club DJs is clearly a better businessman than musician as this disposable copy, cut and paste EP proves yet again.